Though coconut oil is an essential commodity in your day-to-day life, you probably didn’t know that it is a superfood, owing to the many benefits it offers. Coconut oil comes from the kernels, milk, and meat of the coconut palm and the fruit itself. You can extract the oil through wet or dry processing. The amalgamation of the fatty acids present in the oil might have a lot of positive impacts on your health, like boosting your heart health, helping in fat loss, and taking care of your brain’s proper functioning. Below are some science-backed health benefits that you get from coconut oil.
Coconut oil contains an optimum quantity of saturated fats. If you compare them to the other dietary fats, these saturated fats have somewhat different effects on the human body. The fatty acids that are abundantly available in coconut oil boost your body’s ability to burn fat. They help the level of good cholesterol (HDL) rise, which improves the health of your heart by diminishing the risks of heart disease.
Moreover, these fatty acids energize your brain and body. While most dietary fats are grouped as LCTs or long-chain triglycerides, medium-chain triglycerides or MCTs are abundant in coconut oil. When these MCTs reach your liver, the body utilizes them as a source of energy or converts them into ketones. Experts are studying the various positive effects that these ketones might have on the brain.
If you consider the Western world, coconut oil is not that common as a food item. It is popular, especially among those who are health-conscious. In some regions of the planet, coconut, along with coconut oil, happens to be a staple diet, and it has been so for generations. A study conducted in the year 1981 revealed that people of Tokelau, an island in a chain located in the South Pacific, derive three-fifths of their total calories from it.
They have to exhibit an overall improvement in their health and declining rates of diseases related to the heart. The Kitavan folks from Papua New Guinea consume large quantities of coconut. There are very few cases of heart diseases and strokes in this region.
The Western world suffers the most from obesity. It’s a health condition that has taken a toll on many lives. While obesity, to some people, is all about the number of calories that one consumes, finding out the source of those calories is vital. Different food items have different effects on the body and hormones—the medium-chain triglycerides in coconut oil help burn more calories compared to longer-chain fatty acids.
As per a study, consuming MCTs in the range of 15-30 grams every day accentuates the energy expenditure by 4-5%. Researchers have particularly studied the health benefits of these MCTs and not the overall benefits of coconut oil. As of now, there is no sound evidence, which proves the benefits of coconut oil and the calories you lose. Coconut oil is quite high in its calorie content and leads you to pile on more weight if consumed in large amounts.
MCTs (medium-chain triglycerides) help in hunger-reduction. In a study, six men consumed different amounts of LCTs and MCTs. Those who consumed a larger amount of MCT consumed fewer calories in a day. In another study on 14 men, those who consumed most MCTs during breakfast tended to consume fewer calories while having lunch.
These studies were on a small scale over a short period. Considering the effect that would be visible over a longer period, it wouldn’t be wrong to infer that your body weight can come down over the next few years. MCTs are in abundance in coconut oil. However, there is no substantial evidence that consuming coconut oil would lead to less appetite compared to the other oils.
There are various other benefits of coconut oil. This includes skin, teeth, hair protection, seizure reduction, abdominal fat reduction, etc. If you want to derive the most out of coconut oil, opt for organic coconut oil. They are better than refined coconut oil. So, are you ready to explore the wonders of coconut oil and see how it could change your life for the better? Do let us know in the comments section!